Zen and the Art of Dog

My Dog Ate Chocolate

We have three dogs and two toddlers, so we have Googled this phrase many times: My dog ate ___________. Fill in the blank with any number of things that your dog should not be eating: chocolate, grapes, bones, trash, poison, poop, yellow snow, etc. What can humans eat that are toxic to dogs? What amount is toxic? What are signs that my dog is having a medical emergency? Can dogs eat chocolate?

There are no black and white answers and we have taken our dogs to the vet, only to be sent home for observation. Luckily our dogs never needed surgery or experienced organ failure due to ingesting toxins. Always have the phone number and address to your local emergency vet saved on your phone. Here are some signs that it might be time to call the vet:

  • Lethargic. Sleeping way more than usual, not wanting to play when usually very energetic. 
  • Not eating or drinking.
  • Excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting. 
  • Seizures or muscles trembling.
  • Unsteady on their feet. When Denver had his seizure, he couldn’t stand up because his hind legs would buckle.
  • Trouble breathing or excessive panting.
  • Oral sensitivity.
  • Swelling.

The vet might suggest that you induce vomiting if your dog ingested something that is safe to regurgitate. If your dog swallowed a battery or something sharp, this would not be recommended. It is handy to keep a low percentage of hydrogen peroxide solution (i.e. 3%) at home for this scenario. The vet will recommend a dosage based on your dog’s weight to induce vomiting. And the answer to “Will chocolate kill a dog?” is maybe.

Let us know what your experiences are in the comments below!

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